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Philippe de Montebello and Paula Zahn To Join Thirteen as Co-Hosts of SundayArts

NEW YORK.- Thirteen today announced that Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Philippe de Montebello and network news veteran Paula Zahn will be co-hosts of SundayArts—Thirteen’s weekly arts showcase. SundayArts presents the work of emerging and established artists and performers, and provides an insider’s look at New York cultural news and events. De Montebello, who is retiring as director of the Metropolitan Museum at the end of 2008, will appear with co-host Paula Zahn beginning November 9.

In addition to a feature performance or presentation, SundayArts offers several segments each week including “SundayArts News,” with correspondent Christina Ha, and “SundayArts Choice,” a brief first-hand, insider review of highlights from current shows and events around New York City. In partnership with Bloomberg TV, SundayArts also presents segments of the award-winning Bloomberg Television program, Bloomberg Muse. SundayArts continues to expand its arts news coverage, behind-the-scenes interviews, and art world insights for its growing audience. It airs Sundays at noon; news, features, and interviews are available online at

Launched in March 2008, SundayArts is one in a series of new initiatives developed under the leadership of Neal Shapiro. In January, Thirteen debuted Reel 13, an on-air, online showcase for classic, short, and independent films. In October, Shapiro launched World focus, the first non-commercial international news program produced for an American audience. In addition to new programming and initiatives, Thirteen has long been a producer of such acclaimed series as Great Performances, American Masters and Charlie Rose.

“Paula and Philippe are wonderful additions to Thirteen and the ideal hosts for SundayArts,” said Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET.ORG, Thirteen’s parent company. “Philippe is one of the great leaders in the art world, with unparalleled experience and insight on New York’s cultural scene. Paula’s dynamic on-air presence, her exceptional career in television journalism, and her deep personal involvement with the arts make her a tremendous asset to this new program. SundayArts has been embraced enthusiastically by viewers and with Philippe and Paula as hosts, we will have even more to offer to everyone that relishes the outstanding cultural offerings of our city.”

"I am delighted to have this new opportunity to share my perspectives on the city's arts and culture with New Yorkers," said de Montebello. "SundayArts is the only program of its kind and I look forward to working with Paula to open new doors for Thirteen viewers and bring the arts in all their glorious manifestations to new audiences."

“I am honored to work with Philippe and Thirteen in bringing New Yorkers news about the arts and cultural events that define our city,” said Zahn. “I’m really excited about joining Thirteen and being a part of this great show.”

“It is a remarkable opportunity to work with Philippe and Paula,” said David Horn, Executive Producer of Great Performances and SundayArts. “Their combined expertise and insight will add a tremendously exciting dimension to the program, and I look forward to working together with them to explore the city’s rich cultural world.”

Philippe de Montebello - For over three decades, de Montebello has been a leader in the field at the helm of one of the world’s greatest museums. After beginning his Metropolitan Museum career in 1963 in its Department of European Paintings, Mr. de Montebello rose steadily through the curatorial ranks. Except for four-and-a-half years as Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1969-1974), he has spent his entire career at the Met, returning in 1974 to assume the post of Vice Director for Curatorial and Educational Affairs, and then becoming the Museum's Director in 1977. He has not only served longer than any other director in the Metropolitan's history, but has for several years ranked as the longest-serving leader at any major museum in the world. De Montebello will step down as director at the end of 2008. Under de Montebello's leadership, the Museum has nearly doubled in size, vastly increasing its gallery space and maintaining not only a strong exhibition program, but also built a widely acclaimed series of concerts and lectures.

Paula Zhan - Paula Zahn has been a celebrated presence in network news for 30 years and is an accomplished cellist who made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1992 performing with the New York Pops orchestra and has performed there as a soloist many times since. She most recently played with the New York-based International Sejong soloists. Zahn was anchor of CNN’s weeknight primetime evening program Paula Zahn Now. Previously, Zahn anchored the network’s morning news program, American Morning with Paula Zahn, which she helped launch in the fall of 2001. Before joining CNN Zahn spent 10 years at CBS News, where she co-hosted CBS This Morning and anchored the CBS Evening News Saturday Edition. Zahn also worked for ABC News where she was the news anchor at Good Morning America.

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